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Extraction of bridges over water from high-resolution optical remote-sensing images based on mathematical morphology

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Bridges over water are typical man-made structures on the land’s surface. An accurate extraction of such bridges from high-resolution optical remote-sensing images plays an important role in civil, commercial, and military applications. Considering the complex features of ground objects within high-resolution optical remote-sensing images and the inefficiency of previous methods of bridge extraction with random bridge orientation, direction-augmented linear structuring elements were constructed and applied in this study by using mathematical morphology to identify and extract bridges over water with different orientations. First, the image pre-processing is performed to facilitate the object extraction. Then by using the histogram-based threshold segmentation method, water bodies such as rivers are extracted and described as a binary image. Based on water bodies, the appropriate direction-augmented linear structuring element is then selected. Together with mathematical morphology operations, such as dilation and erosion, potential bridges are extracted by overlay analysis. Assisted by prior knowledge of bridges, false bridges are screened out and post-processing is finally performed to refine the extracted true bridges. This approach was validated with experiments in Shanghai and Beijing, China. The results show that the direction-augmented linear structuring elements are of high precision and have the capability of extracting bridges over water in different directions within the high-resolution optical remote-sensing image, considering both qualitative and quantitative aspects. Therefore, this approach may be useful in updating geographical databases of bridges and facilitating the assessment of bridge damage caused by natural disasters.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Shandong Construction Development Research Institute, Jinan, 250001, PR China 2: Institute of Remote Sensing and GIS, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, PR China

Publication date: May 19, 2014

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